The forecast is optimistic.
Roughly three-fourths of companies plan to participate in more in-person events this year, while 44 percent intend to increase the size of their exhibits in 2023.
Have reported that their exhibit-marketing budgets have returned to (or now exceed) pre-COVID allocations. 35% percent say their budgets are increasing, but have not fully recovered.
Sixty percent of exhibiting companies believe an increase in trade show attendance will fuel their programs’ success in 2023.
26% of exhibiting companies plan on purchasing a new exhibit for 2023. 24% are tentatively planning an upgrade.
We get this question all the time. How are things looking for trade shows?
Let’s face it – when the pandemic hit, we thought it would take several years for the exhibit industry to fully recover, and we all thought it would be a gradual restart. Who would have thought by the 3rd quarter of 2021, we would be extremely busy and almost back to pre-pandemic levels. The 2021 SEMA show was down 30% in attendance from 2019, but overall the exhibitors and attendees were pleased with the outcome because the decision makers were the ones attending for 2021. This was the same feedback that we were hearing from most of our clients for the remainder of 2021. The overall trade show attendance was down, but the right people were there to make things happen.
When it came time to start planning the 2022 trade shows with our clients, they were back to their normal routines and regular schedule of events and trade shows. As a happy bonus, a few of our clients increased their booth size and others updated their entire graphics package to freshen things up a bit. Exhibitors and attendees were coming back to face to face events to meet their marketing, sales and business needs. The feedback has always been the same, folks like to touch and see the new products and innovations in-person – while chatting with the designers and problem solvers on the trade show floor.
CES 2023 did not get back to pre-pandemic numbers just yet, but they had 115,000 attendees this year and the footprint was 70% bigger than 2022. This exceeded everyone’s expectations for the most influential tech event in the world. It won’t take long for CES to exceed their 2019 attendance numbers.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2023 followed right behind CES in March and crushed attendance expectations. This is the largest trade show in North America with more than 2,400 exhibitors from 36 countries spread out over 3 million square feet of exhibit space. More than 139,000 construction and fluid power professionals were at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Festival Grounds for this trade show that is held every 3 years.
Our team just came back from the first round of spring trade shows, and the numbers are already looking good for the beginning of the second quarter of 2023. Right now, we are working our way through our spring busy season supporting our clients with their local national sales meetings, as well as sending our team to fun places like Chicago, Phoenix, Nashville and sunny Florida to assist them on the show floor. On top of all of that, we are already preparing for a very busy fall trade show calendar.
2023 looks to finish strong – and we couldn’t be happier to be back in our routine!
All results are from the Feb/March 2023 issue of the Exhibitor magazine.